Archive for The 1970s

Original Vs. Cover- Ohio

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2022 by 80smetalman

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

As my normal break in the action between the years and influenced by 2Loud, I thought I would do another “Original Vs. Cover” post. Today, I picked the song “Ohio” originally written by the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The song was written in 1971 in protest to the shooting which took place at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970, which left four students dead.

When CSNY released the song, it was a clear reflection of the anger which was dividing America at the time. The Vietnam War was still going and Americans were dying in what is still considered a very questionable war. This anger is vehemently expressed through the lyrics and the passion of the vocals. The guitar licks augment this making the song’s message even more powerful. Even more than half a century later, those lyrics and the power behind the music give off strong emotions no matter how you feel politically. It’s one song which, for me, has definitely stood the test of time.

Hannah Wicklund in Bristol, England (October 2019)

The cover comes via Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin’ Stones, another 80smetalman discovery I have been plugging on here. Her version of “Ohio” didn’t appear on her album which I gushed over four years ago but when I saw her live in October, 2019, she played it and it was completely mind-blowing. I have always said that Hannah is a great guitarist and she shows it here. To steal a tired phrase from “X Factor,” she totally makes the song her own by simply totally rocking it out.

My Verdict: I’m going to take the easy way out and call it a tie. Which version of “Ohio” I like to listen to depends on my motivation for listening. If I want to chill and be absorbed in the lyrics or be politically motivated, then I will listen to the CSNY original. The lyrics are meant to be thought provoking and they do that to me. However, if I fancy a good rock out with some fantastic blues style guitar work, then I will pull out Hannah’s cover. Not a criticism but I don’t feel the message behind the lyrics in her version but that’s down to the great guitar work. Plus, if what I hear is true and history isn’t being properly taught in America, then she probably wouldn’t have appreciated the message CSNY were sending fifty years earlier.

Next post: TBA

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

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Great Metal Albums of 1987: Alice Cooper- Raise Your Fist and Yell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2022 by 80smetalman

You know what? The more I reflect back on the music of the 1980s, the more I am convinced of the similarities in the careers of Aerosmith and Alice Cooper. Both were 1970s icons with great albums. Then by the end of the decade and into the early 1980s, they were both nearly destroyed by the excesses enjoyed by many great rock and roll musicians. Aerosmith had become druggies dabbling in music Alice describes the early 1980s as his ‘drunk period.’ Then in the middle of the decade both dried up enough to cut albums which got them back on the rock map. Aerosmith released “Done With Mirrors” and Alice gave us “Constrictor.” But in 1987, both came out with defining albums which stamped their comeback as the real deal. I have already covered Aerosmith’s “Permanent Vacation” and Alice hit us all with this album, “Raise Your Fist and Yell.”

Alice tells us all to “raise our fists and yell” with the opening track and my favourite on the album, “Freedom.” The song is a totally undisguised dig at the PMRC when Alice says, “You want to rule us with an iron hand, change the lyrics and become big brother. This ain’t Russia! You’re not my dad or mother.” Whenever I hear the song, I want to raise my fist and yell. It also helps that with the exception of a new drummer, Alice keeps the same band he had from the last album.

New drummer Ken K. Mary introduces himself with a thundering drumroll on the second track, “Lock Me Up.” That’s followed by spoken word from Freddy Kruger actor Robert Englund accusing Alice of mass mental cruelty. As always with Alice, his sense of humour comes through here when he sings that he’s a criminal and if you don’t like it you can lock him up. Not me, Alice, not me. Guitarist Kane Roberts takes his turn to shine on “Give the Radio Back” as he solos his way all throughout the song. The lyrics have me thinking here. Did someone take Alice’s radio and he wants it back or is he singing out against how crap commercial radio had become by then? Yes, commercial radio did suck back then.

Was Alice at a thrash gig when he came up with “Step on You?” He does sing about sharpening his spikes and strapping up his boots. Anyway, on this track, it’s bassist Kip Winger’s turn to shine as the bass line here is just outstanding. The drumming and guitar get an assist though. More Alice humour closes out side one with “Not That Kind of Love.” He doesn’t favour romantic love on this one but wants to get down and dirty. If there is any song that would have riled the PMRC on this album, it would have definitely been this one. Once again, the band is really tight here.

Side two of the album has a death related theme starting out with my vote for hidden gem, “Prince of Darkness.” This is a song which takes me back to his shock, horror rock days of the 1970s. This is a great metal track with some great changes and no one can make this sound this good like Alice does. The eerie acoustic part at the tail end says it all.

Some great guitar work backs up Alice telling us that it’s time to kill. He’s going to take his fist and make them understand is augmented with some more magnificent guitar work from Kane, possibly his best solo on the album. Once he realizes he only has time to kill, Alice tells us how he’s going to do it with “Chop Chop Chop.” There is some great musicianship all around on this one. I love the intro. Afterwards, we get to know who his victim is, it’s “Gail.” The knife wound on her chest and her blood served time in its skeletal jail lets us know in this slow acoustic ballad. At the end of the album, we learn that Alice loves what he has done because he tells us that blood drops look like roses on white lace. It’s a great closer and with more great metal musicianship, (it’s almost a speed metal song), you definitely don’t forget this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Freedom
  2. Lock Me Up
  3. Give the Radio Back
  4. Step On You
  5. Not That Kind of Love
  6. Prince of Darkness
  7. Time to Kill
  8. Chop Chop Chop
  9. Gail
  10. Roses on White Lace
Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Kane Roberts- guitar, backing vocals

Kip Winger- bass, backing vocals, keyboards on “Gail”

Paul Taylor- keyboards

Ken K. Mary- drums

Robert Englund- Freddy Kruger on “Lock Me Up”

For all the similarities between Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, there will be one difference. Aerosmith will go onto make a greater album in 1989 with “Pump.” As for Alice and I have already put up the screen to defend against all the rotten vegetables about to be thrown at me, I prefer “Raise Your Fist and Yell” to his next album, “Trash.” Nothing wrong with “Trash,” I know I’ll sing its praises when I get to1989, but “Raise Your Fist and Yell” will be my favourite 80s Alice Cooper album. It could be down to the fact that I finally got to see him live on tour for the album but who’s to say? I just love this album.

Next post: Helix- Wild in the Streets

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

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Rest in Peace Ian McDonald

Posted in 1980s, Death, Illness, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2022 by 80smetalman
Ian McDonald

It is my sad duty to report the death of former Foreigner guitarist Ian McDonald who sadly passed away, aged 75, after a long battle with cancer. Ian not only played guitar on Foreigner’s more hard rocking first three albums but also contributed on keyboards, drums and vocals. Unfortunately for him, he left the band after the third album, “Head Games,” and therefore, didn’t enjoy the commercial success of “4” and “Agent Provocateur” albums. Tributes have been pouring in for Ian all day from former band mates and musicians who knew him. This is yet another tragic loss to the music world. The only thing I can do in dedication to Ian is to play their first big single, which was a cruising song for my then 16 year old self and the song I consider the hidden gem of all Foreigner songs.

Rest in peace Ian

Rest in Peace Meatloaf

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2022 by 80smetalman
Meat Loaf

As usual, I’m late to the party. News of rock legend Meatloaf’s passing has been making the rounds on social media all day. My first experience of him was his famous “Bat Out of Hell” album when I was 17. First, I thought Meatloaf was a band and I wasn’t too impressed with the fat slob they had for a lead singer. Don’t worry, I am already warming up the time machine so I can go back and slap my 17 year old self. Long story short, I am very glad that I was wrong on all counts. When I finally did hear his iconic album, I was totally impressed and I have been a Meatloaf fan ever since. Thinking about it, once I’ve slap myself in 1978, I should travel to 2001 where a young rock fan, upon seeing my Meatloaf t-shirt, said I had a sad taste in music. So maybe I should slap him as well.

For those who grew up listening to Meatloaf, you know that listening to his music was not sad in any way. He made a number of great albums and even collaborated with singers such as Cher. I love “Dead Ringer for Love.” While I know that we are all aging and those we held as heroes are succumbing to their mortality, but each loss is the loss of a good friend. This is especially true with Meatloaf.

Meat Loaf and Cher singing “Dead Ringer for Love”

Rest in peace Meatloaf, may you find paradise beyond the dashboard light.

My Experience of Desmond Child

Posted in 1979, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2021 by 80smetalman
Desmond Child, 2019

Reading many of your blogs out there, Mike Ledano and 2Loud’s especially, I have learned a lot about one Desmond Child. I never knew that he wrote songs, many of them hits, or produced albums for the likes of KISS, Aerosmith, Cher, Bon Jovi, Bonnie Tyler and many many more. My association with Desmond came about through a totally different manner. Not through his producing, my introduction to him came via the soundtrack of my all time favourite film, “The Warriors.” FFI- I’ve included my post on said soundtrack should you wish to read it.

Desmond not only writes my favourite track on the soundtrack, the closer, “Last of an Ancient Breed,” he sings it as well and I must say that Desmond is a decent singer and could have made it as one if he had gotten the breaks. Note: There were a couple of other talented singers on the soundtrack who vanished after. So, enough of me prattling on, here’s the song.

Yes, they do use excerpts from the 1983 film, “The Outsiders” in this video as well.

Hope you enjoyed!

Next post: Malice- License to Kill

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Montrose- Mean

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2021 by 80smetalman

There is a problem when a band doesn’t put out an album for eleven years, people tend to forget about them. That seemed to be the case with Montrose. Back in the early 1970s, they had a few good albums but their last album before this 1987 album, “Mean,” was in 1976. As for me, I didn’t hear of Montrose until the early 1980s and only because a Marine buddy was into them. Later on, when Sammy Hagar achieved widespread acclaim in the rock world, I discovered that he was in the band in the early 1970s. However, with Sammy’s solo success and then joining Van Halen, I, like so many others, assumed that Montrose had become extinct. Therefore, the “Mean” album came as a pleasant surprise.

It has been said that “Mean” is more in the glam metal fashion and different from the Montrose of the early to mid 1970s. While that’s probably true, I’ll have to listen to a Montrose album or two for confirmation, all I know is that when listening to “Mean,” I very much like what I hear. One thing Ronnie Montrose hadn’t forgotten to do was wail on a guitar. He does it very well throughout the album. Furthermore, the rest of the band are able to keep up with him.

“Mean” starts off with the best track on the album, “Don’t Damage the Rock.” This is a high energy rocker and Ronnie dominates with his guitar. But Johnny Edwards turns in a great vocal performance as well. Fortunately, even though the opener is my favourite track, the rest of the album doesn’t deteriorate after it. Linking past with present, when I hear “Pass It On,” I can easily imagine Sammy singing on the tune as it fits his style. However, Edwards is his own singer so while the song reeks of Sammy, Johnny delivers a sound vocal performance and Ronnie’s guitar adds flavour to it as well.

While I wouldn’t call it a Ronnie solo album, he is the principal component to the album. His guitar stamps it’s authority with its acoustic intro on “Hard Headed Woman” and some great guitar work on “M for Machine” and “Ready, Willing and Able.” But what I found interesting about the album is that it comes out smoking on the first three songs, levels off a bit on the middle three songs and goes out on a big high on the final three songs. “Man of the Hour” is a great rocking song, which any 80s heavy metal band would have been proud to have recorded. A cool guitar riff heralds in “Flesh and Blood.” This song could out-Kiss KISS. It sounds exactly like what KISS would have done back in the 1970s, except Ronnie plays a blinder of a guitar solo. Maybe they should have taken note here instead of chasing trends. “Stand” is an excellent closer.

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Damage the Rock
  2. Game of Love
  3. Pass It On
  4. Hard Headed Woman
  5. M is for Machine
  6. Ready, Willing and Able
  7. Man of the Hour
  8. Flesh and Blood
  9. Stand
Ronnie Montrose

Ronnie Montrose- guitars

Johnny Edwards- vocals

Glenn Letsch- bass

James Kottack- drums

Note: The only photos of Montrose I could find on the net are back when Sammy was in the band.

“Mean” would be the only album put out by this line up. The other members would go onto to other bands and create history there while Ronnie would attempt a solo career. This begs the question: If the band had stuck around, could they have gone onto the achieve greatness? This album suggested that they could have.

Next post: Frehley’s Comet

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Rest in Peace Ken Hensley

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2020 by 80smetalman
Ken Hensley

Once more, we can boldly declare that 2020 sucks Communist donkey dick! Not only are we losing so many great rockers, we are losing members of the same band. Less than two months ago, Uriah Heep and Ozzy drummer Lee Kerslake left us. Now, I must sadly announce the passing of Uriah Heep keyboardist, Ken Hensley. He was a great but underrated keyboards player for Heep all throughout the 1970s. In 1983, he joined Southern rock greats, Blackfoot and his contributions helped make keyboards in Southern rock acceptable.

Blackfoot

Rest in peace Ken!

Oh God! It’s Starting Already

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2019 by 80smetalman

Three days into 2019 and already two tragic deaths. First, I read about former Dr Hook singer, Ray Stewart, famous for his eye patch, passed away quietly in his sleep at his home in Canada. He was 81. Dr Hook was famous for soft rock hits in the 1970s such as “When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman” and “Sharing the Night Together.” My personal favourite Dr Hook tune can be accessed at the bottom of this post.

Ray Stewart

The second passing comes from the world of wrestling, which I was a big fan of in the 1980s. Former WWE commentator and interviewer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund passed away in Florida today. He was 76. I remember his unique commentary and interview style which will never be duplicated.

Gene Okerlund

Rest in peace Ray Stewart

Rest in peace Mean Gene Okerlund

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Foreigner- Agent Provocateur

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

While in 1985, most of the world was excited about Foreigner releasing their first studio in nearly four years, I was a little skeptical. My skepticism was based on the logic that my final memories from Foreigner “4” was their famous ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and when my introduction to the new “Agent Provocateur” album was another ballad, I concluded that Foreigner had gone the way of REO Speedwagon and was simply content to achieve commercial success through ballads. No matter how good everyone thought “I Want to Know What Love Is” and it is a good song, I had prematurely drawn the conclusion that the new album would be mainly ballads and that Foreigner had foregone their hard rock roots which had brought them so much success in the past.

Fortunately, my sister did buy the album and gave me a listen to it and my skepticism was removed. Let me be frank, in my mind, “Agent Provocateur” comes nowhere close to classics like my personal favourite, “Double Vision,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. True, there are more ballads on here than I would have liked, the previously mentioned single and “That Was Yesterday,” another song which brought Foreigner top 40 success. Plus, “Growing Up the Hard Way,” while not a ballad is over done with the synthesizer and I can’t help thinking how much better that song would have been if there was a stronger power chord from a guitar on it. However, there is evidence a plenty on “Agent Provocateur” to show that the band hadn’t totally forgotten where they came from.

Opening track, “Tooth and Nail” dispels any ideas that “Agent Provocateur” is going to be an album of ballads. It does its job of hooking the listener and is a good steady rock track. Even though the next three tracks after are the ballads and synth pop singles, one doesn’t lose interest as that opening tracks gives hope that there is more like that on the album. “Reaction to Action” does exactly that and it has the best guitar solo on the album. Therefore, it’s awarded the hidden gem for the album. I have a theory about the track “Stranger in My Own House.” I theorize that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones worried that people like me would think this album would be chuck full of ballads, so they recorded this song with that in mind. “Stranger in My Own House” is a good hard rocking track, probably the hardest on the album with another cool guitar solo. But I think they try too hard to be hard rock with Gramm doing more screaming than singing. While it’s a cool track, I want to say to Lou, “Relax man, you don’t have to prove you can still rock.”

“A Love in Vain” may return to the ballads but there is some good keyboards work on the track and a little guitar making a good 70s style progressive rock sounding song. Maybe that one should have been released as a single as it’s better than it successor, “Down on Love” which was. This one, while not bad, has too much of an 80s synth pop sound for me. “Two Different Worlds” is a definite ballad and it sort of combines the previous two tracks without the synth pop which is replaced with a decent guitar solo. That leaves the closer, “She’s Too Tough,” and though it brings the album full circle, the song reminds me too much of the Kenny Loggins single, “Danger Zone.”

Track Listing:

  1. Tooth and Nail
  2. That Was Yesterday
  3. I Want to Know What Love Is
  4. Growing Up the Hard Way
  5. Reaction to Action
  6. Stranger in My Own House
  7. A Love in Vain
  8. Down on Love
  9. Two Different Worlds
  10. She’s Too Tough

Foreigner

Lou Gramm- lead vocals, percussion

Mick Jones- guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals

Rick Wills- bass, backing vocals

Dennis Elliot- drums

Like with Heart, the question here is, “Was Agent Provocateur” a sell out album for Foreigner?” Okay, they did have a number one single on it and while I might not think so, many other people out there did and it’s probably why it didn’t sell as big as some of their previous. My belief on the lack of sales was that Foreigner were trying to be all thing to all people and in a 1980s society which like to put things into nice neat categories, that didn’t sit well.

Next post: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Joe Walsh- The Confessor

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2018 by 80smetalman

Another example of if I had paid attention to MTV in 1985, it would have resulted in my missing out on another great album. When the made for MTV video for the title track of Joe Walsh’s album, “The Confessor,” came on, I wasn’t that impressed. Fortunately, I knew of old from his 1981 album, “There Goes the Neighbourhood,” not to judge Joe on the singles. Therefore, I was able to delve into this offering without hesitation and I would have more regret if I hadn’t.

“The Confessor” is an album of three, possibly four parts. The first two songs all have a reggae vibe to it and I have always thought that if Joe wanted to go full on reggae, he was quite capable of doing so. Saying that, each of the first two songs have their own unique stamp on them. The opener, “Problems” might sound reggae through the verses but definitely more hard rock in the chorus. With “I Broke My Leg,” again there’s a reggae vibe to it but Joe throws in some interesting reverb work on the guitar. Those first two tracks make for an interesting hook for the rest of the album.

Tracks 3-6 go into more familiar Walsh territory. The guitar work on “Bubbles” reminds me a little of his 1970s classic, “Rocky Mountain Way” and the song itself, sounds a bit more from said decade. “Slow Dancing” isn’t one for actual slow dancing but it has a way out bluesy feel to it with some more interesting guitar work from you know who. The next track, “15 Years,” could be a contender for hidden gem on the album. More harder rock than the previous two and he nails the solo on it. It’s a great blues based rock song. At the end of the second act is the title track which you get in it’s full seven minute glory and not the four minute MTV version. I much prefer that one, especially as you get to hear much more of Joe’s cool guitar work. It starts with a cool cowboy sounding acoustic guitar before going much harder. I can’t think that a certain band from New Jersey got the idea for a similar song on their 1986 album from Joe on this one.

If “15 Years” wasn’t hard enough, you will not be disappointed with the next two tracks. “Rosewood Bitters,” a song Joe originally recorded with the Michael Stanley Band. This was my second contender for hidden gem. It’s more of a melodic rock tune with some cool guitar hooks. However, I think I’ll have to go with the full rock tune, “Good Man Down” for actual hidden gem. This song is a belter and Joe really rocks out on it, guitar solo and all.

The final track, “Dear John,” goes back to the more reggae sound of the first two tracks. Was this Joe coming full circle on the album? Your guess is as good as mine. Whatever he was thinking, it worked for me as I really like “The Confessor.”

Track Listing:

  1. Problems
  2. I Broke My Leg
  3. Bubbles
  4. Slow Dancing
  5. 15 Years
  6. The Confessor
  7. Rosewood Bitters
  8. Good Man Down
  9. Dear John

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh- lead vocals, lead guitar, synthesizer, bass, talk box

Waddy Watchel- guitar

Mark Andes- bass

Mike Procraro- bass

Dave Margen- bass

Dennis Bellafield- bass

Rick Rosas- bass

Denny Carmassi- drums

Joe Keltner- drums

Rick Moratta- drums

Jeff Procraro- drums

Chet McCracken- drums

Randy Newman- keyboards

Alan Pasqua- keyboards

Jerry Petersen- saxophone

Earl Lon Price- tenor sax

Kenneth Tussing- trombone

Timothy B Schmidt- backing vocals

Critics rubbished “The Confessor” saying that Joe Walsh was a decade behind the times. I guess they expected him to use synths all throughout the album. What do they know? The answer is that in spite of the critics, the album sold pretty well and I can certainly understand why. Who cares if it was too 1970s for some people? I don’t.

Next post: Heart

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html